Latin American and Caribbean ministers end summit on Venezuelan migrants

Latin America

Latin American and Caribbean ministers end summit on Venezuelan migrants

Tuesday marked the end of a two-day summit in the capital of Ecuador. The meeting in Quito was meant to coordinate a response to the humanitarian crisis caused by an exodus of Venezuelans.

CGTN’s Michelle Begue reported on how things came to a close.

Representatives from 12 Latin American nations came together in Ecuador’s capital to discuss how to respond to the massive migration of Venezuelan immigrants. Leaders at the two-day summit sent out a joint declaration that called for orderly migration with proper documentation.

“Venezuela was the place of migratory destination for many years of all of Latin America. This generated a level of gratitude that we are paying back by receiving the Venezuelans,” said Raul Sanhueza from the Chilean Ministry of External Relations.

According the United Nations, more than two million Venezuelans are now living in neighboring countries to escape the economic crisis that led to shortages of food and medicine.

Ministers from Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, and Mexico joined Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, the latter countries had received the bulk of migrants. Noticeably absent from the meeting was Venezuela’s representative.

On Tuesday, the Venezuelan government reacted to the European Union’s expression of concern over the humanitarian situation in the region. Delcy Rodríguez, the Vice President of Venezuela, accused the international community of exaggerating the migration crisis to justify an “international internvention.”

Last Friday, on August 31, the EU announced a $35 million aid package to support the Venezuelan migration crisis.

Officials at the Ecuador summit continued to express concern over the security of Venezuelan migrants, but said they would not be declaring a regional emergency. “They are highly vulnerable to human trafficking, migrant smuggling, labor exploitation, lack of access to social security, extortion, violence, sexual abuse, recruitment for criminal activities, discrimination and xenophobia,” stressed Andrés Terán, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Ecuador.

The Organization of American States Permanent Council will hold another meeting on this issue on September 5th.